Tag Archives: IRC

15 October was Global Handwashing Day: take the quiz!

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Photo: IRC

Are you a Handwashing Champion?

Each year on 15 October, over 200 million people in over 100 countries celebrate Global Handwashing Day. Their aim is to increase awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap. This simple intervention is an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. Promoting handwashing with soap reduces the risk of diarrhoea by at least 23% according to a 2014 systematic review of research. Handwashing with soap impacts more than just health: it is also beneficial for nutrition, education, economics, and equity.

Global Handwashing Day was founded by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing, and is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times. This year’s theme is “Make Handwashing a Habit!” For handwashing to be effective it must be practised consistently at key times, such as after using the toilet or before contact with food. While habits must be developed over time, this theme emphasises the importance of handwashing as a ritual behaviour for long-term sustainability.

IRC is proud to be an affiliate member of the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing. Especially for Global Handwashing Day we created a fun quiz so that you can not only test your knowledge but also learn a bit about what we are doing to promote handwashing.

Don’t forget to visit the Global Handwashing Day website for resources and updates on  global handwashing promotion. For the latest research and developments, also check out the handwashing posts on Sanitation Updates.

Now take the quiz to see if you are a Handwashing Champion!

This blog was originally posted on the IRC website.

 

IRC WASH Toolkit

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IRC has compiled a growing repository of tools and guidance for strengthening water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) service delivery.

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of universal access to WASH by 2030 requires a systems approach, This means tackling all dimensions such as monitoring systems to see whether services are delivered; financing frameworks that define who pays for what and how; and procurement mechanisms for infrastructure development.

The toolkit is organised around the two related goals of delivering services and delivering change.

IRC toolbox

The toolkit covers both water supply and sanitation. Sanitation and hygiene-specific tools have been grouped under the sanitation and behaviour change blocks.

Included are best practices, case studies and approaches developed and tested in IRC’s work with governments, NGOs and other partners in over 20 countries.

The tools come from big, multi-country initiatives, such as WASHCost, Triple-S and WASHTech, as well as more focused pieces of work, such as our partnership with the government of Ethiopia to develop guidelines for self-supply.

We are in the early stages of development, so for now the toolkit is a beta product. We encourage you to use and build on our work. We do, however, request you to acknowledge the source and share your experience with us. We also welcome your feedback as we continue to expand and refine the toolkit. Please send your comments, questions and experiences to info@ircwash.org.

The toolkit is available at: www.ircwash.org/wash-tools

 

Can you spend too much on sanitation?

The decision to divert funding from water to sanitation turned sour when drought struck India.

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Ledger. Uttarakhand, India. Photo: IRC

A budget tracking study in India revealed that the shift of policy focus from water to sanitation has resulted in a cut in government spending on rural water supply. This was a cause of concern because at the time of the study (August-December 2015) six of the seven states reviewed were reeling under severe drought.

A Parliamentary Standing Committee report released on 6 May 2016 stated that the government would be unable to achieve its 2017 target of providing 50% rural households with piped water. The media accused the government of starving the National Rural Drinking Water Programme of funds, while at the same time increasing funding for Prime Minister Modi’s flagship sanitation programme “Swachh Bharat”. The government has even introduced an additional 0.5% “Swachh Bharat” service tax.

The Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA) is presenting their budget tracking study on 26 July 2016 in Delhi as part of the WASH Dialogues series of events. WASH Dialogues are an initiative of IRC and TARU Leading Edge. CBGA’s presentation will focus on the institutional and procedural bottlenecks that are constraining public expenditure in the water and sanitation sector.

For more information on the event “Tracking policy and budgetary commitments for drinking water and sanitation in the new fiscal architecture in India” go the IRC Events page.

For more on budget tracking see:

This news item was originally published on the IRC website.

Monitoring Africa’s sanitation commitments

IRC helps AMCOW develop a new process to monitor the N’gor declaration

At the 2016 Africa Water Week, civil society called on the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) to honour the region’s commitments on water, sanitation and hygiene, including those agreed in the 2015 N’gor declaration. The four partner organisations in Watershed – empowering citizens, Akvo, IRC, Simavi and Wetlands International, were among those that endorsed the collective statement submitted to AMCOW by the African Network for Water (ANEW).

Progress especially on sanitation has so far been poor; only 4% between from 2000 to 2015, according to Al-hassan Adam from End Water Poverty. A recent IRC/WSUP finance brief stated that only eight African countries provide data on sanitation expenditure. All of them are falling behind on their N’gor declaration commitment to spend 0.5% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on sanitation. Exerting pressure to speed up progress on sanitation is an obvious task for those civil society organisations (CSOs) that Watershed aims to support.

Next to lobbying AMCOW to honour its sanitation commitments, IRC is also advising the ministerial council on the development of a new process to monitor the N’gor declaration. The aim of the new monitoring process is to create reflective dialogue processes at country and subregional levels and strengthen mechanisms for accountability to citizens and political leaders informed by evidence.

So far a Regional Action Plan has been developed, and indicators and scoring criteria have been reviewed through a series of sub-regional consultations led by AMCOW in Nairobi, Dakar and Johannesburg in May and June 2016. See below an example of an indicator with scoring criteria.

For more information, read the background paper prepared by Alana Potter.

Ngor indicator typology

This news item was originally published on the IRC website.

Urban sanitation: a quest for the silver bullet

2015 and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are behind us. The new global goals for sustainable development are expected to inspire and create a new determination for all of us. What has IRC learned during 2015 and how are we moving ahead in 2016? 

Blog by Erick Baetings, Senior sanitation specialist, IRC

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Haiphong City, Viet Nam. Photo: Erick Baetings, IRC

Although a lot has been achieved the world has fallen short on the MDG sanitation target, leaving 2.4 billion people without access to improved sanitation facilities. Globally, it is estimated that 82 per cent of the urban population now use improved sanitation facilities, compared with 51 per cent of the rural population.

What is the case for urban sanitation?

Urban growth

Rapid urbanisation in many parts of the developing world is putting increasing strain on the ability of municipalities to deliver critical services, such as water and sanitation. More than half the world’s population (54 per cent) live in urban areas. Urbanisation combined with the overall growth of the world’s population is projected to add another 2.5 billion people to the urban populations by 2050, with close to 90 percent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa. As a result, many developing countries will face numerous challenges in meeting the needs of their growing urban populations. In a number of regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, population growth has already outpaced gains in sanitation coverage in urban areas.

Inclusion and equality

Inclusive and equitable access to improved sanitation facilities is still far away. Inequalities between richest and poorest 20 per cent of the population are found in all regions but may vary according to the type and level of service. Inequalities hinder efforts to reduce poverty and to stimulate economic growth, resulting in a negative impact on society as a whole. Therefore, ideally, more should be done for the poor than the rich, allowing the gap to narrow and ultimately disappear over time.

Moving beyond toilets and containment

Access to improved sanitation facilities does not necessarily translate into environmentally safe practices as even appropriately captured human waste is often improperly stored, transported, or disposed. To date, global monitoring has focused primarily on the containment of human excreta, where a sanitation facility is considered to be improved if it hygienically separates human excreta from human contact. This is now considered to be grossly inadequate as it does not address the subsequent management of faecal waste along the entire sanitation service chain, from containment through emptying, transport, treatment, and reuse or disposal. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) states that over 2 billion people in urban areas use toilets connected to onsite septic tanks or latrine pits that are not safely emptied or that discharge raw sewage into open drains or surface waters.

The challenge is to keep up with the growing urban population, to ensure equitable access to improved sanitation services, and to address the entire sanitation service chain.

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SuSanA and IRC online thematic discussion: Sustainable urban sanitation – moving forward

We are happy to announce that IRC is holding a 2-week thematic discussion on the topic “Sustainable urban sanitation – moving forward” on the SuSanA online discussion Forum starting from today.

To view the discussion and post, visit:

SuSanA forum: http://forum.susana.org/forum/categories/218-thematic-discussion-sustainable-urban-sanitation-moving-forward

The overall theme of this thematic discussion is how to move towards more sustainable urban sanitation. The idea is to initiate a discussion from the perspective of the whole sanitation chain and also the role (or lack of role) which local government has as leaders for change in sanitation. The discussion would focus on case study examples which have worked but also those that have not worked and how these could have been improved given the chance with a focus on the whole sanitation chain. Guiding questions by the thematic experts will help to structure the discussion throughout this e-debate.

Theme 1 (October 13-19): Lack of attention to the whole sanitation chain: Why is there a lack of attention to the whole sanitation chain? Given that sanitation is more than building a toilet and includes changed hygienic behaviours, maintenance, emptying, treatment and disposal or reuse of accumulated faecal matter, why are so many programmes and project still only looking at one possible two sides of this multi-sided chain?

Theme 2 (October 20-23): Lack of leadership for change around sanitation: Sanitation improvements are not the sole responsibility of one entity but is shared between households, private service providers (latrine builders, emptying companies) and/or various line ministries (Min. of Health, Education, Infrastructure, Environment). How can we create a sanitation sector that is more coordinated and aligned with the many players as well providing a supportive and regulatory function? The latter is typically the responsibility of national and local governments. However, in many countries, either there is not a unique institution with the overall responsibility for sanitation, or this designated institution is weak and is not able to lead the sector towards change. Is there a means of creating more substantive governmental leadership in this area for better coordination and harmonisation in the sanitation sector?

The first theme has started today by Cor Dietvorst explainingWhat are we talking about? Systemic change is change that encompasses all parts of a system, taking into account the interrelationships and interdependencies among those parts whereas piecemeal change focuses on one or several parts of a system and thereby addresses only pieces of the urban sanitation problem.”

And asking:

1.What are your views on using the systemic change approach for addressing the (urban) sanitation challenges?

  1. Is it justifiable to continue focusing on onsite containment of human faeces and thereby ignoring all the other links of the sanitation chain? 
  2. How can we balance the need for systemic long-time change with addressing some of the immediate urgent needs?

We warmly invite you to engage with us in the discussion. Experts from the sector will be providing their input and respond to your questions:

  • Erick Baetings (Senior sanitation expert, IRC)
  • Marielle Snel (Senior expert, IRC)
  • Cor Dietvorst (Programme officer, IRC)

BACKGROUND

This discussion is the third in a series of events on urban sanitation co-hosted by IRC. The first in the series was the thematic discussion “Urban Sanitation Finance – From Macro to Micro Level” in June, followed by a Round Table Discussion on Urban Sanitation in line with ULCTS in July and the IRC Event “Working towards sustainable urban sanitation” held in September. Recommended background readings for the discussion are provided here

We look forward to hearing your contributions on this discussion!

IRC – 2008 Notes and News on School Sanitation

This issue of Notes & News focuses on some of the activities and initiatives undertaken in the framework of the International Year of Sanitation related to WASH in Schools. Two non-traditional approaches are highlighted. The School Sanitation Fund by the Dutch NGO Simavi and the Global Awareness Raising campaign by the German Toilet Organization. Marni Summer and Jackie Kirk contributed an article on girl-centred, holistic thinking for school sanitation, one of the vital components for successful WASH in schools activities.

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